Table of contents

Maximizing Productivity: The 25 Best Free Tools for Product Managers in 2023 (Wireframing, Analytics & Prototyping, other)

Maximizing Productivity: The 25 Best Free Tools for Product Managers in 2023 (Wireframing, Analytics & Prototyping, other)

In the ever-evolving field of product management, finding the best tools to aid your work can be a game-changer. This comprehensive guide for 2023 includes some of the top free tools for product managers, ensuring you get the most out of your workday without breaking the bank.

Our list encompasses a variety of essential resources, including wireframing tools for product managers to aid in prototyping and design, as well as analytics tools for product managers to help you make data-driven decisions. Whether you're looking for the best prototyping tools or simply trying to streamline your workflow, these tools will undoubtedly prove useful.

The tools we've handpicked not only meet the diverse needs of product managers but also align with the latest trends and technological advancements. From communication and customer feedback tools to roadmapping and documentation tools, we've got it all covered.

Let's delve deeper into some of these tools and see how they can transform your product management process.

9 out of 10 analysts have predicted that the year after the pandemic will be a year of skyrocketing growth. We believe that they had all the reasons to say so. But we’re at the end of 2022 and markets are at their lowest points for the past dozen years.

While some companies have been doing their best to stay profitable, some others have been relying on external investments which are almost impossible to get these days.

Most of the not-profitable (working for profits but having more spending than income) companies either cut their costs or consider doing it in the coming months. You can already notice that the number of employees who were laid off is picking up.

There are different ways for companies to cut costs. While some companies lay off staff, others review their tools and optimize their subscription plans.

In this article, we decided to propose to companies some great free tools that would save budgets and potentially, allow them to keep some staff.

One size does not fit all

Every time you read through product management communities whether or not it’s happening in Slack, on Reddit, or Facebook, the discussions that take place are very similar.

Every product management organization is different from another and so is the toolset. It depends on the processes established in a company and, of course, on the people who are or who used to work there who implemented those tools.

Or it does?

Although many larger companies would use some more advanced (and expensive too) tools, smaller companies can benefit from the same tools. With the new motion of Product-Led-Growth (or PLG, for short), many companies can start with entry plans of advanced solutions. Below we gathered some of the best products available on the market that provide free plans groped by product categories.

Communication

Zoom

One of the reasons Zoom grew this much during the pandemic is that it provided its service to people for free. And when users got used to the product they wanted to use it for their businesses too.

Pros:

  • Reliable connection on calls with participants from all over the world
  • Integrates with your calendar
  • Good ML models for image enhancement
  • Good noise suppression

Cons:

  • 45 minutes session limitation on the free plan

Slack

Slack is a free communication and collaboration tool that helps teams stay organized and connected. Its real-time messaging and file-sharing features make it a no-brainer for teams. The free plan comes with a 10 integrations limit and 90 days message history. Slack is a default choice for most small teams.

Pros:

  • Provides a huge number of integrations with different tools.
  • Provides audio and video calls
  • Supports screen-sharing and annotation
  • Has many tiny well-thought features for keeping a healthy work-life balance

Cons:

  • Only 10 users in the free plan
  • 90 days messages retention

Discord

Overall, Discord and Slack are similar in many ways, but Discord is more geared towards voice and video communication, while Slack is more focused on text-based communication (despite the huddles module that became available to all teams in 2022). Both tools can be useful for teams looking to communicate and collaborate, but which one is the best fit will depend on the specific needs and preferences of the team.

Pros:

  • It’s free
  • Supports major mobile and desktop OS.

Cons:

  • The UX is not very business oriented

Telegram

Telegram is highly adopted by different teams. Telegram is more focused on B2C users, compared with Slack which focuses on B2B users. Telegram lacks many integrations that people from IT use day in and day out. Some people don’t like to use Telegram for work due to the difficulty of separating personal and work-related conversations.

Pros:

  • Fast and reliable
  • Provides audio and video calls
  • Works on all platforms and browsers
  • Works well on unstable connections

Cons:

  • Built for B2C
  • Hard to separate personal conversations from work-related
  • May not offer as many integrations with tools used in IT as Slack

Customer Feedback Tools

Google Sheets

Yes, it’s still one of the most popular tools that product managers use in their day-to-day work. There’s one important caveat: your users won’t be able to add data for you. 

Haha, classic
Google Sheets as a customer feedback tool

ProdCamp

This is a true gem that gives you several tools to capture feedback.

The first one is the public customer feedback portal. It could be a public roadmap, and a changelog as well. Yes, all are free, but some usage-based limitations apply.

The second one is the feedback widget that can be integrated into your SaaS application and capture feedback from the same interface.

Pros:

  • Specifically designed for gathering and managing customer feedback
  • Multi-channel approach with a single source of customer feedback.
  • Once processed and attached to features, enriches improvements with revenue data of the account who sent feedback

Cons:

  • May not be as widely known or used as some other customer feedback tools

Calipio

Let’s be honest, typing lengthy feedback is boring. And when typing we tend to describe only needed details not to make it cumbersome. As soon as customers start shortening feedback, some key elements are washed away from it. A short screencast with voice comments can be more useful than pages of text.

Calipio helps to avoid meetings and work asynchronously with a tiny to no impact on the outcomes.

A huge upside of Calipio is that it doesn’t need to install any software on your computer to work, unlike its direct competitor which goes next on the list.

Pros:

  • Works from the browser
  • A very responsive team

Cons:

  • May not be as widely known or used as some other video feedback tools

Loom

Loom is a direct competitor of Calipio. The only difference is that it requires an application to be installed on a computer before recording. In the age of the web, it’s a questionable requirement.

Pros:

  • Recording captions
  • Watch right in Slack

Cons:

  • Needs to be installed on the computer.

NPS Software

Performing product discovery is an everyday job of a product manager, regardless of the title, senior product manager, group product manager, or product management director all work with various aspects of the product discovery process.

ProdCamp NPS

ProdCamp helps you to measure customer satisfaction and engagement throughout the experience with your product. Net Promoter Score feedback can be used separately to see trends in customer satisfaction as well as combined with other feedback channels to see the full picture. 

Pros:

  • Specifically designed for gathering and managing customer feedback and measuring NPS
  • Offers a range of customization options
  • Offers in-app embedding

Cons:

  • May not be as widely known or used as some other customer feedback tools

Survicate NPS

Survicate provides free 7-day surveys including NPS with 1 active survey limit at any given time (and a limit on the number of responses). Since it’s an enterprise-level product the price goes up pretty quickly with anything that goes beyond very minimal plan limitations.

Pros:

  • Offers a range of customization options for gathering customer feedback
  • Integrates with a variety of tools and platforms

Cons:

  • May not offer as many advanced features as some other NPS tools
  • Most of the features are available in paid plans which are quite expensive.

Survey tools

Performing product discovery is an everyday job of a product manager, regardless of the title, senior product manager, group product manager, or product management director all work with various aspects of the product discovery process.

Google Forms

I can assure you that Google did not pay me for putting their products in various categories, it’s the benefit of being on the market for a long time. I’ve used Google Sheets since I graduated from the university (it’s been quite some time already).

google forms image


On the one hand, years of polishing had helped to make this solution very good. Yes, very good, but not great. On the other hand, you don’t have much of a choice, it’s the only free solution that’s available on the market right now (Feel free to send us an email if you want to add another free survey tool to be listed here).

HotJar Ask

Hotjar helps product managers understand how users are interacting with their products. With features such as heatmaps and session recordings, it's easy to identify areas for improvement and gather valuable feedback from users. Hotjar the tool that is technically free but with a very modest limit.

Pros:

  • Offers a range of features for tracking and analyzing user behavior and engagement
  • Integrates with a variety of tools and platforms

Cons:

  • May not offer as many advanced features as some other analytics tools
  • Some features may require a paid subscription to access

Analytics Tools

Amplitude

Amplitude provides event-based analytics. Build funnels and analyze retention. The free plan provides 10 million events per month to be collected.

Pros:

  • Specifically designed for tracking and analyzing user behavior and engagement
  • Offers a range of customization options for visualizing analytics data
  • Integrates with a variety of tools and platforms

Cons:

  • May have a steeper learning curve for those unfamiliar with the platform

PostHog

Posthog is a direct competitor to Amplitude. There are 3 things that make PostHog shine: 1. It’s open-source. 2. It’s available in a self-hosted option. 3. It provides session recording in the free plan.

Pros:

  • Open-source analytics platform that allows for full control over data
  • Offers a range of customization options for visualizing analytics data
  • Integrates with a variety of tools and platforms

Cons:

  • May not be as widely known or used as some other analytics tools

Databox

Databox is all about dashboards. It integrates with many other tools and provides nice dashboards or can send data from your dashboards to Slack.

Pros:

  • Offers a range of customization options for visualizing analytics data
  • Integrates with a variety of tools and platforms
  • Allows for real-time collaboration and sharing of analytics reports

Cons:

  • May not offer as many advanced features as some other analytics tools

Hotjar Observe

Hotjar provides session recording and heatmap tools. The limit is quite low like with other Hotjar products.

Pros:

  • Offers a range of features for tracking and analyzing user behavior and engagement
  • Allows for real-time collaboration and sharing

Cons:

  • May not offer as many advanced features as some other analytics tools

Google Analytics (GA4)

Pros:

  • Part of the Google suite of tools
  • Offers a range of features for tracking and analyzing user behavior and engagement
  • Integrates with other Google tools such as Google Ads

Cons:

  • May not offer as much customization and integration with non-Google tools as some other analytics tools

Websites and Landing pages

One can reasonably ask how in the world websites and landing pages are connected to product managers’ activities. In reality every now and then product managers need to test certain hypotheses, conduct A/B testing or test messaging targeting a specific user segment and websites are the best at it.

Webflow

Webflow can be a useful tool for product managers looking to conduct hypotheses testing for their websites. The platform allows for easy creation and customization of websites, making it easier to test different versions or variations of a website to see which performs better.

Pros:

  • Intuitive interface that allows for easy design and development of websites
  • Wide range of customization options and templates
  • Integrates with other tools such as Google Analytics and Mailchimp, which can be used to track and analyze website traffic and engagement

Cons:

  • May have a steeper learning curve for those unfamiliar with design and development concepts
  • Some features and templates may require a paid subscription to access

Overall, Webflow can be a useful tool for product managers looking to conduct hypotheses testing for their websites and make informed decisions about changes based on data and evidence.

Mockups, wireframes and prototyping tools

FigJam (Figma)

Figma is a default choice of product designers, but going into high-fidelity designs and creating pixel-perfect prototypes might be not the best approach. Creating low-fidelity mockups for validating hypotheses proved to be working well. Figma provides free plans for both products.

Pros:

  • Part of the Figma platform, which offers a range of design and collaboration features
  • Allows for real-time collaboration with team members
  • Integrates with other tools such as Slack and Trello

Cons:

  • May be more complex to use for those unfamiliar with the Figma platform

Excalidraw

Excalidraw is very impressive. I first saw it a couple of years ago and it was a tiny product that is available on GitHub that everyone can use for their tasks. Recently they’ve added pasting images (like in Miro) and now you can create your mockups using images of existing interfaces, literally creating them on top of the existing ones.

Pros:

  • Simple, easy-to-use tool for creating wireframes and mockups
  • Offers a range of customization options
  • Can be used to draw on top of existing interfaces

Cons:

  • May not offer as many advanced features and integrations as other wireframing and mockup tools

Documentation

Notion

Notion is a tool that helps product managers solve a range of challenges related to organization and productivity. As a free, all-in-one workspace, it provides a variety of features that allow you to manage tasks, projects, and documents efficiently. With customizable databases and real-time collaboration capabilities, Notion makes it easy to store and access the information you need to make informed decisions. It also integrates with other tools, such as Google Drive and Slack, so you can seamlessly incorporate it into your existing workflow. Whether you're looking to streamline your task management or improve team communication, Notion is an excellent tool to consider.

Pros:

  • Versatile tool that can be used for a wide range of purposes
  • Allows for some customization and organization of the workspace
  • Real-time collaboration capabilities

Cons:

  • May not offer as much customization and integration as Coda

Coda

Coda and Notion are both powerful tools for product managers, but they have some key differences to consider:

Pros of Coda:

  • Specifically designed for building custom documents and tools
  • Offers a range of features for creating interactive documents and databases
  • Highly customizable

Cons of Coda:

  • May be less suitable for general purpose tasks

Google Docs

In 2022, Google Docs started adding features that look suspiciously like in Notion.

Google Docs is a part of the Google suite of productivity tools. It allows product managers to create and edit documents, as well as collaborate with team members in real-time. With Google Docs, you can create a range of documents, including reports, and presentations, and easily share them with others. In recent years, Google Docs has even added features similar to those offered by Notion, such as the ability to create customizable databases within the platform. Overall, Google Docs is a reliable and convenient tool for product managers looking to create and collaborate on documents with their team.

Pros:

  • Simple, straightforward word processing program
  • Part of the Google suite of productivity tools
  • Allows for real-time collaboration

Cons:

  • Limited in terms of advanced features for organizing and managing tasks and projects

Gitbook

GitBook is a free, open-source tool that helps product managers streamline their documentation process. It offers a range of features, including customizable templates and themes, and integrates with tools like GitHub. GitBook is an essential tool for any product manager looking to efficiently manage and share documentation with their team. We use it for publicly available documentation and quite happy with it.

Pros:

  • Designed specifically for creating and organizing documentation
  • Offers customizable templates and themes
  • Integrates with other tools such as GitHub

Cons:

  • May not be as versatile as other tools for managing tasks and projects outside of documentation

Roadmapping

Miro

More and more companies use Miro for roadmap planning. It’s a very flexible tool, but the data (roadmap items) needs to be copied to other tools manually.

Pros:

  • Collaborative, interactive platform for creating and sharing roadmaps
  • Offers a range of templates and visualization options
  • Integrates with other tools such as Jira and Slack

Cons:

  • May have a steeper learning curve than other tools

ProdCamp

ProdCamp provides a Now/Soon/Future roadmap that could be either internal or public. If you want to go beyond that, you can customize it on paid plans.

Pros:

  • Specifically built for creating and managing product roadmaps
  • Offers a range of visualization options

Cons:

  • May not offer as many integrations with other tools at the moment, but they’re being built according to the public roadmap.

Google Sheets

Spreadsheets and roadmaps go hand in hand for years. And there’s a reason for that.

Have you seen Sheets’ new timeline module? It’s quite good for project management.
Some people still believe that timeline roadmaps for a year or two ahead is the definition of being agile. We don’t.

Pros:

  • Part of the Google suite of productivity tools
  • Familiar interface for those already using other Google tools
  • Can be used to create simple roadmaps with customization options such as color-coding

Cons:

  • May not offer as many advanced features and visualization options as specialized roadmapping tools
  • Collaboration features may be more limited compared to other tools

Changelog

The changelog is a way for companies to keep their customers informed about important news or product updates that were introduced. Keeping consumers informed is key to building a community of highly engaged customers and it also builds vendor-customer bonds.

ProdCamp

ProdCamp is an all-in-one platform that provides a changelog, feedback widget, public voting and roadmap portal, road mapping tool and so much more. The changelog could be embedded in your app, or created as a standalone page on your own domain.

Pros:

  • A portal, customizable to a user’s needs
  • Custom domain in the free plan
  • Is a part of a platform that covers a whole feedback loop from capturing feedback, to notifying a customer about released improvements.

Cons:

  • May not be as widely known or used as other changelog tools

Headway

Headway is a very simple app that gives you a changelog. If you want to slightly customize it, or enable a custom domain, it stops being free.

Pros:

  • Specifically designed for creating and managing changelogs

Cons:

  • May not offer as many integrations with other tools
  • Some of the basic features are only available in the paid version.

Summary

We hope that this list of free tools for product managers will assist you in maximizing your productivity and efficiency, even during the challenging times of the 2023 recession.

FAQ

What is the event limit on the free plan of Amplitude analytics tool?

The free plan of Amplitude allows unlimited events to be collected up to 100K MTU (monthly tracked users).

What makes PostHog stand out from other analytics tools?

PostHog is open-source, offers self-hosting options, and provides session recording in its free plan.

How does Databox help in sharing analytics data?

Databox can send data from your dashboards to tools like Slack, facilitating real-time collaboration and sharing of analytics reports.

What are the key features of Webflow for hypothesis testing on websites?

Webflow allows for easy creation and customization of websites, aiding in testing different versions to analyze performance.

What is the main advantage of using Excalidraw for creating mockups?

Excalidraw allows for creating mockups using images of existing interfaces, making it possible to literally draw on top of them.

How does Notion compare with Coda for managing product documentation?

Both are powerful tools with Notion providing an all-in-one workspace with real-time collaboration capabilities, while Coda focuses more on creating interactive documents and databases with high customization.

What are some tools for creating and managing product roadmaps?

Tools for creating and managing product roadmaps include Miro, ProdCamp, and Google Sheets. Each offers unique features and visualizations, though Miro and ProdCamp might have a steeper learning curve. Google Sheets is simpler but has more limited collaboration features.

Turn User Feedback into Happy Customers

right arrow

Sign up to our newsletter!

Thank you!
Invalid Email. Please try again.